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Old 03-26-2007, 07:08 AM   #1
Ned
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Exclamation High-tech driver's licenses could ease border crossing

Interesting that Washington and Washington are calling this an "experiment." I can't see any reason this "experiment" wouldn't work if Homeland Security wants it to work. The Washington driver's licenses will include proof of citizenship, and like passports will include an RFID chip broadcasting the same.

Even if these "High Security" driver's licenses pass muster with Homeland Security, I submit they will be most likely, less secure for Washington drivers, than their current licenses, unless there is some special unknown factor in their design, which hasn't been reported to the general public, thus far.

Unless these driver's licenses include data encryption, which is highly unlikely, since Homeland Security Scanners are unprepared to read encrypted information, these driver's licenses will probably be more susceptible to identity theft, than passports. Passports are in "book form" and when closed, the RFID chip transmission of information is supposed to be turned off. Driver's licenses don't have such a "book form." Unless these licenses will have a totally different "form" than other driver's licenses, which would make them harder to carry, or an "on/off switch," I submit these driver's licenses would be wide open with regard to "identity theft," as they will continuously transmit the driver's identity in clear open form which can be picked up by anyone with a scanner. Do I hear the orders for RFID scanners coming in from thieves across Washington State already.

Even if one carries their license in a protective cover acting as a "faraday cage," everytime you take it out of the "cage" to show it as an ID, it will transmit. I can see it now, thieves stationed with hidden portable scanners located at every check cashing center throughout Washington, and at every bank, and 24hr store, pulling in one person's identity after another.

Quote:
High-tech driver's licenses could ease border crossing
March 24, 2007
SEATTLE, Washington (AP) (Via CNN.com) -- High-security driver's licenses aimed at letting U.S. citizens return from Canada without a passport could be adopted elsewhere if Washington state's experiment works, Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff said Friday.

The pilot project, signed into law by Gov. Chris Gregoire and formally approved by Chertoff on Friday, calls for Washington to begin issuing new "enhanced" driver's licenses in January.

They will look much like conventional driver's licenses, but will include proof of citizenship and other information that can be easily scanned at the border.

Radio frequency ID chips and other advanced security features also would make the enhanced licenses less vulnerable to forgery. At about $40, they also would be less expensive than a $97 passport.

Chertoff's endorsement of the pilot project comes as border states prepare for new federal security requirements mandating a passport for travelers -- including U.S. citizens -- who enter the country by sea or land from elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere.

That requirement is expected to take effect between early 2008 and mid-2009. A similar rule for air travelers already is in force...
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Old 03-26-2007, 07:34 AM   #2
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Just a technical note for Ned. Although you are generally correct in the operation, the devices do not continuously transmit as they have no energy source (battery). What happens is they sit there passively until they receive a signal from the scanner and then use the energy of that signal to power a very weak transmission back to the scanner with the encoded information. Otherwise all is as you state.

There is only one way to make them more secure and that is to embed them right into a persons wrist or elsewhere. That way when scanned, any official observer will see the source as well... This is already done, as you know, with animals, freight, and other inanimate objects. Two of my four personal pets are so "chipped."
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